Picasso at his home in Vallauris, painting on glass with a camera rolling on the other side. The scene is an outtake from Visite à Picasso (A Visit with Picasso), a 1950 film by Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts.
Visite à Picasso (A Visit with Picasso), a 1950 film by Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts.
From Open Culture:
How did Pablo Picasso do it? Art historians have spent much time and many words answering that question, but in the video above, you can watch the painter in the act of creation — or, rather, you can watch a series of his paintings as they come into being, evolving from spare but evocative collections of marker strokes into complete images, alive with color. We see Picasso’s visual ideas emerge, and then we see him refine and revise them, sometimes toward a surprising result. All of this happens in under two minutes, since filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot shot the artist working with time-lapse photography, compressing each creative process into mere seconds.
This particular sequence became the trailer of Clouzot’s 1956 documentary The Mystery of Picasso. The paintings in it, we read at the end, “cannot be seen anywhere else. They were destroyed upon completion of the film.” Though word on the street has it that one or two of them may actually survive somewhere today, the idea of Picasso paintings existing only on film does capture the imagination, and it moved the French government to officially declare The Mystery of Picasso a national treasure. Picasso had, of course, painted on film before, as you might recall from seeing us feature Paul Haesaerts’ 1950 Visite à Picasso.
Lee Krasner: Gaea (1966)
Krasner reinvented her artistic style several times during the course of her career. In the mid-1960s her work took on a spirit of free invention, embodied in broad, sweeping strokes of paint—quite different from her smaller, thickly painted, and tightly controlled canvases of the late 1940s. Though she painted abstractly, Krasner rejected the notion that her painting was devoid of content—she “wouldn’t dream of” creating a painting from a fully abstract idea, she said. In works like this one, titled after the Earth goddess of the ancient Greeks, the artist claimed to be “drawing from sources that are basic.”
Marie-Louise Von Motesiczky: View from the Window, Vienna (1925)
This painting depicts a view of roofs and facades seen from the artist’s fourth-floor flat in Vienna, where she lived during the first half of the 1920s. The cupola in the upper centre of the painting is part of the Johann Strauss Theatre, famous for its performances of light opera. Technically this painting makes a shift in the artist’s work. Previously she had applied paint in dabs which created a mottled effect. This work is painted with rather freer brush strokes. The elongated vertical format is characteristic of von Motesiczky’s canvases of the period and reflects the influence of Max Beckmann’s paintings of the 1920s.
Marie-Louise Von Motesiczky: Still Life with Sheep (1938)
Still Life with Sheep’ was painted in a small hotel in Amsterdam. The artist had travelled to Amsterdam with her mother from their home in Vienna, immediately following the arrival of the Germans in Austria in 1938. Eventually the artist settled in England. In this still life, she posed the objects, including two eighteenth-century Chinese cloisonné sheep and some fruit, on an ironing board in the hotel, with the ironing board dictating the unusual oblong shape of the painting. Aside from the sheep, objects whose reassuring familiarity reminded the artist of her Viennese surroundings, this unusual still life is characterised by the rich colours of the grapefruit and by the bunch of grapes.
Emanuel Leutze: Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851)
Leutze’s depiction of Washington’s attack on the Hessians at Trenton on December 25, 1776, was a great success in America and in Germany. Leutze began his first version of this subject in 1849. It was damaged in his studio by fire in 1850 and, although restored and acquired by the Bremen Kunsthalle, was again destroyed in a bombing raid in 1942. In 1850, Leutze began this version of the subject, which was placed on exhibition in New York during October of 1851. At this showing Marshall O. Roberts bought the canvas for the then-enormous sum of $10,000. In 1853, M. Knoedler published an engraving of it. Many studies for the painting exist, as do copies by other artists.